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Lifting Up The Mama’s

Today I heard from a mama who is mourning her baby girl who made her way to Jesus early this morning. The poem in the last post was written with her in mind.

Heaven just got a little sweeter.

Hours later, I got a note from another mama who is mourning her baby girl who has run far from Jesus.

She asked for prayer.  Deliberate, heartfelt prayer for this girl whose boo boo’s this mama used to kiss and whose scraped knees she would bandage.

This baby girl has grown and so have her wounds.  

This brilliant and beautiful girl has abandoned her own precious babies and has immersed herself in a world of drugs and prostitution, deceived by the notion that she can run from and numb her pain.

She is now homeless and pregnant. And completely lost.

My friend is desperate for her daughter’s rescue from the streets, from her life of ugly darkness.  She longs for her child to be whole again, to see that gorgeous face beam with a genuine smile and hear those laughs that come straight from the belly.

She aches to watch her daughter be a mother to her babies and embrace the life she was meant to have.

Everything in her wants to run to the prodigal she can’t find and throw her arms around her to keep her safe.

She feels helpless.

There is something in a mother that dies when her child dies, a part of her that feels as lost as the child who is wandering.

I have been both of those mothers. To my knowledge, there is no greater pain.

So, I’m asking you with everything in me to pray for these women.

Two mama’s who lost their babies and one mama who lost her way.

 Mama A, Mama D, and Mama T

Three hearts in need of healing, three souls passionately loved by Jesus.

Three miracles in the making…

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Remind Me….Please….

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I received terrible news from a very close friend today.  My heart is breaking for the entire family.  This is for you, precious Johnson Family…I love you with all my heart…

I can’t see you, Jesus

The tears are in the way

My throat constricted by the pain

So I can’t even pray

My faith is hanging by a string

Threatening to unravel

Why is this the only way,

The road that I must travel?

Please remind me…

That this pain inside was not Your plan

When You said, “Let there by light”

Our hearts were whole when you made man

Not torn from left to right

There were no tears in paradise

We knew Your every way

The paths were clear and struggle-free

We saw You every day

But sin came in and made its mark

Creation now was marred

As we walked out that garden’s gate

Pain followed, leaving scars

Remind me…

That Your heart was broken on that day

As You saw the path we chose

Your Father heart, it grieved for us

You longed to bring us close

You knew we could not bear the pain

We were no match for death

And so You came to walk with us

To share our every breath

You made a way to rescue us

From this place outside the garden

You gave Your life to bring us back

The payment for our pardon

Now paradise for us awaits

More beautiful than ever

No pain, no grief, no sin or shame

Your presence for forever

Remind me…

You cry with me these tears of grief

You bear with me my pain

Until the day I see Your face

And loss is turned to gain

But for today, please know my heart

Be patient with my doubt

Restore to me a childlike faith

And heal me in and out.

Just hold me close next to Your heart

Though I don’t understand

Remind me, please, of Your great love

That my life is in Your hands

Psalm 18:6 But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help.

Psalm 34:18 – The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 69:1-3 – Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.

Isaiah 43:2- When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

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The Good Things That Happen When You Say, “I Can’t”

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“I can’t.”

It was true.

I couldn’t.

I didn’t have the strength, the resources, the wisdom to do what God was asking of me this past weekend.

“I can’t.”

The words showed up in my tears, in the discouragement of my own lacking.

Even my body screamed the phrase through the pit in my belly, the pounding in my head.

“I just can’t.”

It didn’t feel fair for God to ask this of me.  He knew my weakness.  My triggers for fear.

He said He loved me.  Then why, Jesus?  Why?

And then He told me.

“Because I CAN.”

None of this circumstance had anything to do with what I could do.  I was missing the point completely.

It was about what HE could do.

As that idea began to make its way into my heart and mind, He kept speaking in words I COULD understand.  He spoke tenderly, but with the most sincere conviction.

“I have chosen you for this moment.  This circumstance.  This is part of the big plan, the whole story.  This is a chapter that needs to be fully written.  Every word of its script has purpose and meaning and is essential for the next chapter.  

You’re right when you say you can’t.  But I can.  And I have every intention of doing so.  You see now, but I see eternity.  Eternal value is being weaved into what is happening right now.  Trust that.  Trust ME.

I know that your hands feel weak, that your mind feels muddled with why’s and how’s.  So give them to me.  Let me pour My strength through your hands, My thoughts and promises through your mind.

All that I have taken you through, all that I have done for you, has prepared you for this moment in time.  This next step in the journey.  Every moment that you trust Me in it will bind your heart closer to Mine.

This story will not ultimately be about you and your weakness.  It will be about Me and My strength.  And you will tell the story again and again to people who need to hear it.” 

“You can’t.  But I can.  WE can.”

It’s strange how a conversation like that, being reminded of the truth, can completely change your perspective.

Suddenly, there was energy in my dead arms, inspiration in my spent mind.

Discouragement melted as the purpose was exposed.

This temporary situation faded in the face of its eternal significance.

The sun rose today with a beauty that was nearly tangible from this new vantage point.   It brought a fresh new day with clearer vision and renewed hope.

Today I will shift my focus once again from my own pitiful resources to the endless bounty of my God and the wonder of watching His story unfold.

He CAN.  He WILL.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Psalm 27:1 – 3  “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”

Romans 8:18  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Romans 5:3-5  “ Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

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Call Me A Tattletale

Call me a tattletale.

I can live with it.

But I’ve just got to tell on Jesus this morning…

This week I got the sweet opportunity to work alongside a precious girl from Cambodia.

She doesn’t look like the other people in her country.

Her skin is fair instead of brown.

Her hair is a rich auburn, not black.

Her eyes sparkle blue in a sea of otherwise brown/black eyes.

Yes, my Janay is home for a month!

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I’ve hired her to work alongside me while she’s here, staging/decorating.  Her creativity, good eye and knack for original touches is just a bonus to the true gift of getting to spend time with this girl I’ve missed so much.

A little piece of heaven.

But I digress…

Two days ago, while she and I were staging an adorable town home, there was a Keller Williams event a half hour away for all of the KW realtors in this region.

Both of the realtors that I work for were there.

There were multiple speakers, but there was one couple that stood out for my two realtor friends.

A couple who had been pastors here in the area, had raised their children, and had heard of the horror of human trafficking that was going on in Southeast Asia, particularly Cambodia.  Moved to do something more than cry over the tragedy in that part of the world, they left everything to move to Cambodia and start a ministry that would attempt to rescue girls out of the sex trade and stop their perpetrators.

Do you see where this is going?

These speakers, this couple, were Don and Bridget Brewster, who founded Agape!

The organization that Janay works for in Cambodia!  

Don and Bridgette, who have been Janay’s mentors, biggest advocates and dear friends these past two years!

So while Janay was busy staging a property for my realtors, Liz and Deanna, they were listening to the people that made everything that Janay is doing over there possible!

– They got to hear firsthand what is going on, the number of girls that have been rescued, the number of perpetrators that have been prosecuted.

– The vast number of future horrors that have been prevented.

– They got to listen to amazing stories of the types of miracles God does, the crazy ways He pours out His love in forgotten, ignored, broken places.

What are the chances?

I’m telling you, I could envision God’s happy fingers spinning these circles toward each other, interconnecting worlds that otherwise would never have intersected!

Do you have goosebumps yet?

So that’s my story.  Short and sweet and, to me, absolutely incredible.

I just had to tell you.

I just had to tell on Jesus and His very, very mysterious and wonderful ways…. :-)

Psalm 126:3 – Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!

Psalm 40:5 – O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list.

You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.

Isaiah 45!5 – Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, you work in mysterious ways.

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Waiting In The Silence

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I can’t hear You.

Is it because You are choosing to be silent or because the noise inside and out has numbed my ears to Your “still, small voice”?

Has my tendency to run ahead like an excited child taken me out of the range of hearing my Father’s voice?

Maybe it’s because I’m doing all the talking and not giving You a chance to get a word in edgewise. I’ve turned dialogue into a rambling monologue of my own thoughts, plans and ideas and forgot to ask You about Yours.

I furiously try to write, hoping that Your inspiration will come as my fingers start moving across the keys.  But even then my hands seem paralyzed because my words mean nothing without first hearing them from You.

I want to hear You.

I long for that deep and tender voice that brings me Scripture and comfort and truth.  The only voice that draws me into that place of intimacy with my Creator and Friend. The voice that calls my name when I’ve gone astray.

I’m tired of listening to my own chatter.

I know what I have to do.

It’s time, again, to “be still and know”.  To sit in the quietness with You and just wait, simply resting in the fact that You are there.

Or rather, here.

I will listen with my eyes, focused on every word You’ve given in Scripture to guide, correct, comfort and teach me. I will lean into every truth and claim every promise as my own.

Today I will stop pining for inspiration and will be more than satisfied with Your presence.

We will be quiet together, just You and me.

Until the silence breaks….

Psalm 62:5 – For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God.

Lamentations 3:24-26 – I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

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What You’ll Say When You Find Yourself Between My Ears

“Get me out of here!”

You won’t expect to say that, of course.

I’m sure before you stepped in you thought there would be plenty of space to rest and relax.  You may have even thought you might want to live here for a time, curious about the atmosphere.

You probably thought the shelves meant for organized thoughts, practicality and logic would be empty, ready to fill any way you want.

You envisioned easy chairs made for a type-B personality, comfortable and inviting.

Maybe there would be speakers that only emit the sounds of peaceful babbling brooks and chirping sparrows.

You were planning on closing your eyes while sitting on a lush sofa that you were certain would be placed right in front of a large screen tv playing sappy love stories.

You might have thought the walls would be covered with pictures of lovely landscapes and sentimental memories.

Beyond that, you were sure there would be lots of spare space for breathing and dancing and dreaming.

But what you walk into was not at all what you imagined.

There is music when you enter, as you expected. But it isn’t the only sound going on in this space.  There are voices called Obligation and Urgency that seem to be yelling at you for no reason at all, and no apparent way to shut them up.  And when they aren’t screaming at you, they are arguing with each other.

The big screen is there but the channel keeps changing.  On the couch is Lady Creativity, sitting on the edge of her seat, a look of concentration on her face, remote in hand, flipping from one show to another, unable to stay on anything in particular. She only looks up to shout to Obligation and Urgency to keep it down.

Something is flying around the room.  But the sweet chirping of birds you were imagining turn out to be Random Ideas buzzing next to your ear. They seem to have a message. You put out your hand to let one land, to listen to what they are actually trying to say to you, but they have the wings of hummingbirds.  They are here and then gone again, and you’re left feeling like anything you heard was nothing more than noise.

You look over to those shelves of logic and reason you were sure would be empty. But you were wrong.  Organized Thought is there, though nearly invisible, squished nearly flat between volumes of Deep Thought and Intense Emotion.  Scattered here and there are pages half-filled with Prose and Musings that never quite found their way to the outside world. Stories that never realized their endings.

Those easy chairs?  There is nothing easy about them.  They call you to sit, but you find they are uncomfortable.  They can’t contain all this energy that seems to be running through your body now. All this Activity and Noise leaves you anxious, unable to tame your own thoughts.  Moving with the chaos seems to make it better, so you are up and walking again.

You are pacing, ready to lose your mind.  

If you don’t get out of here soon, you’re convinced the only way to escape will include a straight jacket.

You pinch yourself, hoping that all of this is just a bad dream that you’ll be waking from soon.

Then, out of the corner of your eye, you catch sight of a small flicker.

You almost miss it, it’s so faint.  But as you turn and begin heading in the direction of this warm light, you realize there is a small room that seems to be separate from the madness.

As you approach this closet-sized room, the insanity of all the things behind you starts to fade.

Someone is sitting at a piano, gently playing what can only be described as YOUR song. Like He really GETS YOU. He looks up, smiles and offers you a seat next to Him.

There is no resisting His invitation.

There is only one thing you can imagine doing in your current state of mental exhaustion, and as you take your place beside Him, you rest your head on His shoulder and merely listen to Him play.  Your eyes close with the relief that comes from finding that quiet, peaceful place by His side.

Obligation is silenced and urgency is muted in this room.

The palpable frenetic pace melts into tangible peace.

And for a few precious moments, the mayhem is forgotten.

This is the safe room.  A Sanctuary of Retreat from the crazy.

You breathe it in as the music plays.

This place is worth the journey.

If only you could stay here.

Do you have to go back out into that main room, trip over the mess and expose yourself to the overwhelming noise that goes on there?

But you know that leaving my mind will require going back through the clutter to get back to your own familiar world.

Reluctantly, you leave this place of refreshment to return to where you belong.  You hurriedly dash through the place I spend the majority of my days, afraid of getting stuck on the way out.  You tell me thanks for the time, but I can see in your eyes that you are dying to go, so I give you a hug and send you on your way.

I tell you that you are welcome back any time.  But I know better.  Once is more than enough. 

What you don’t know is that I would have followed you out if I could have.

My bags are already packed and I’m ready for a simpler, quieter existence, free from the madness.

But this is the mind I’ve been given.

Messy gray matter.  

Kinetic and crazy.  

A place where I’m certain that madness will one day get the last word.

And the reason that I treasure the sweet moments of quiet next to the One who plays my song.

Play, Jesus.  Play….

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What Happens When You Sit Down To Write When You’re Super Mad.

(Warning:  This is not the first post I was planning on writing when I got back from vacation.  But circumstance and my own processing have to be addressed before I can possibly write anything else.  And BTW….Hi!….It’s good to be back at the keyboard. :-)

Warning 2:  No idea where this post is going to go.  Praying God takes the crap in my head and works it into something useful.

Warning 3:  There will be a slightly colorful word used in a grammatically incorrect way.

Warning 4:  It’s gonna start off ugly.)

I’m writing this because I can’t think of a single positive thing I can do when I’m feeling this way.  Sometimes I just have to process through my fingers.

Righteous Indignation

That’s a really nice, really misleading word for what I’m experiencing right now.

A more accurate description would be RIGHTEOUS PISSEDNESS.

I won’t give the who, what, when or where of the situation.  It doesn’t involve family or friends or anyone who might be reading this, so the details don’t matter.

All that’s necessary is the fact that I witnessed something so disrespectful to both God and people that I am shaking as I write this.

I. AM. PISSED.

We’re talking BLOOD BOILING TYPE STUFF.

So what did I do?

Did I apply the “What Would Jesus Do” principle?

Of course I did!

Like when He was in the temple that was being misused and misrepresented, disrespected and desecrated.

Matthew 21: 12-13 –  Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

HE EXPERIENCED RIGHTEOUS PISSEDNESS.

Tables were flying, benches were knocked over.

He was rightfully angry at what was going on.  People were being manipulated, God’s dwelling place was being defiled and selfish ambition was running amok in that place.

Suddenly, I understood this story so much better.

I felt confirmed in the raging, fuming, venting that was going on in my heart and coming out through my mouth.

I felt mad, just like Jesus.

My flying tables looked more like choice words, and those turned over benches more resembled smoke coming from my nostrils.  

But other than that, it was exactly the same. :-)

I was able to keep my rant down to a dull roar in the privacy of my own home and car. Barely.

Still, as righteous and justified as it was, why did it leave a bad aftertaste in my mouth and a deep pain in my chest? Why did it feel so ugly and wrong if it was right?  If Jesus’ reaction to it would have been similar to mine?

As I just wrote that last sentence I didn’t know.  Not a clue. For real.

But Jesus just filled me in on the difference between his response and mine.  Just this very second.

He was mad at the sin.

I am mad at the person.

Gosh darn it.  I knew it was too good to be true, that my heart was lining up with Jesus’ on this deal.

Hmmmmm…

So, you’re telling me that I have been too focused on the WHO and not on the WHAT?

Crud.

And now Jesus gets a little more specific.

He didn’t beat up the people that were misusing the temple.

 He overturned the things that represented the sin.

 He addressed the guilty and called the sin what it was.

He followed through and did what needed to be done.

But then He left the situation.

He said what needed to be said but didn’t wallow in the muck of anger towards those people.  He had too many miracles to perform, too many people’s lives to touch. The next verses talk about him healing the blind and lame.

His focus was on his ultimate mission of going to the cross and he didn’t let residual pissedness (thought it WAS righteous anger) distract him or hold him back.

Ugh.  So that means that’s what I need to do.

I need to address the sin and then leave the situation.

But I am sure as heck going to lock the door behind me. :-)

Boundaries will be drawn and precautions put in place so that there will no longer be a need for “righteous indignation” toward this person.

Jesus has too much for me to do. There are too many people that my heart needs to be fully available for. There is too much to enjoy in the promised abundant life he gives for me to settle into the nest of unresolved anger, no matter how righteous it might be.

Whew…

That putrid taste in my mouth is fading.  My blood pressure is returning to normal.  My bright red face is melting back into its post-vacation tan.

Redirected pissedness.

I can do that….

It’s okay to be angry.  I SHOULD be angry about this.

But in my anger, I don’t have to sin.  (Ephesians 4:26)

I can forgive the person and focus my pissedness toward the ugliness of the sin itself.

Dang, this is NOT how I thought this was going to pan out.

Guess I better go.  (sigh)

I have some serious thinking and praying to do….:-)

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I Can Do Hard Things

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I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

This phrase has been scripted in various forms on Pinterest lately.

Such a simple, almost childlike, phrase, but it has become my mantra lately.

 – When the physicality of my job threatens to leave me in a heap on the floor.

– When I am missing my kids and extended family to the point of tears.

– When uncomfortable situations arise that make me want to run the other way.

– When I need to adjust my attitude and it’s at the bottom of the list of things I want to do.

– When God asks me to do something that falls way outside the limitations of my comfort box.

Have you been there?

It seems that each day has a few times in it when this phrase needs to be applied.

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I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

Whether it’s the discipline to do or NOT to do certain things or simply taking a step in the right direction, I say this phrase out loud to myself as a reminder.

And at the tail end of this phrase, Jesus brings the words that always need to follow…

“through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Breaking my mantra down further, helps me grasp this truth as reality –

I can do hard things – I was created to face this decision, this experience, this circumstance.  God allowed it or brought me to it or it to me for a reason. (Romans 8:28)

I  CAN  do hard things – It is possible.  When everything points to CAN’T, God tells me I can, with the strength of His presence and His promises. (Matthew 19:26)

I can DO hard things – This is an active, not passive, phrase.  I’m not meant to just think or worry or stew about it.  I can do something about it because God and His word are alive and active in me. (Hebrews 4:12)

I can do HARD things – I was made to face obstacles and difficulties, not just the easy and comfortable things in life.  I am equipped to handle the unexpected, the undesirable and the disappointing because of the words of God Himself.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

I can do hard THINGS – No matter how difficult a decision or action or situation is, they are still just things.  Things that can’t stop God’s love or plan for me, and are most like things that will only reveal His love and plan more clearly. (Romans 8:38-39)

I. CAN. DO. HARD. THINGS.

Not because of who I am, but because of what I am – His Daughter – and who He is – My Father, my Counselor, my Friend.  The all-powerful Source who gives me life and breath and eternity.

How could I NOT do hard things?

I am picking one hard thing today to face boldly with this phrase and the promises of God.  De-staging a 5800 square foot house while physically fatigued.

What will you choose today?  Just one thing that you will walk into with the power and presence of Jesus giving you strength and the ability to do what needs to be done.

I would love to hear what you chose and how God revealed His strength in and through you, true to His word, as you stepped forward in faith and confidence!

YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!!!!

(By the time I posted this, I was finished with my 5800 sq foot de-staging job.  It was long day with lots of sweat and sore muscles.  It was HARD.  But God gave me the strength to complete the task.  He provided my new partner in crime – my new friend and business partner, Charmaine – to help with the enormity of the job.  He gave me everything necessary to do what I needed to do.  I really can do hard things….:-) )

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And Now, A Word From Janay…

Good morning!!!!

Today’s post is from my daughter, Janay, in Cambodia.

It corresponded so closely to what I was reading today about Jesus weeping with those He loved in their grief (John 11) that I couldn’t help but share.

(She will be home for a month at the end of July and this mama can hardly wait!!!!)

Hello!

This update is long overdue, but it will also be a pretty short one, so bear with me.

Last week, Tuesday to be precise, I was at work when I got word of a fire that broke out less than a mile north of our ministry “headquarters” in Svay Pak.

Without going into too much detail, a domestic dispute caused the fire, which ended up destroying 11 homes, affecting 13 families. Several of the people who lost everything are AIM employees. Rumor has it that when the firefighters arrived, they wouldn’t put out the fire until someone paid a bribe. While this isn’t confirmed, I believe that it is most likely true. Things have been weighing heavily in my heart ever since. Particularly in regards to caring for the poor.

Who is there to protect the poor? Even those who are put in place as public servants (police, firefighters) can’t be trusted. Of course, it goes far deeper than that, and isn’t so simple. Either way, my head has been spinning.

Among the people who lost everything is a newlywed couple, Borey and Monea. One day I went to go look at the damage and ran into Borey who looked at me with confident eyes and an enthusiastic smile. Without any fear, doubt, or anger in his eyes he praised God that no one died, and said with belief that he knew something good was going to come out of this. Yes, he lost everything, but knew this wasn’t the end.

Another friend of mine, Siny, was feeling the weight of what was lost. While her home was not damaged, the homes of her siblings, parents, and grandparents were destroyed. Life savings were lost, their dog, chickens, family heirlooms. Siny, like Borey wasn’t shaken. She did however, understand the weight of needing to step in for her family and help rebuild.

It was really cool to see the Church in Svay Pak spring into action, not missing a step, and rallying together to help provide for these 13 families. A true representation of the Church.

The following day, I was scrolling through the news and read about what was going on in Charleston. Senseless violence. Overt racism. People who are very dear to me, living in Charleston, were trying to come to terms with what had happened. How can you come to terms with something like that?

Stories of forgiveness for Dylann, by family members of the deceased, began making headlines. Stories of hope, unity. What was meant for separation, hate, and destruction, had turned into something unifying, loving, and grace-filled.

Two tragedies this week. Two completely avoidable tragedies. While both are devastating, I am not trying to compare the two (can you really compare that?), I am just trying to wrap my own mind around both of these events, and the different types of injustice that are weaved in both. It could take a while.

The day I found out about the fire, I found comfort in Psalm 46.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when the morning dawns.
Nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The name of the church in Charleston is Emanuel, which means ‘God with us.’

I will be going to America next month for a few weeks as a break. The timing probably couldn’t be better. This year, unlike last year, I will be primarily staying in California. If you want to come visit the San Francisco area, please let me know! You will have a free place to stay, and my mom will probably bake a lot of desserts. :)

I have also started writing in my blog again, if you are interested in reading any of those thoughts. You will probably find something new up very, very soon. :) Link is at the bottom.

If you are able and feel led to help the people in Svay Pak rebuild their homes, the best way to do that is through the AIM website, which you can access here.

Thank you for your prayers, and your generous support of me. Thank you for reading the words on this page with understanding, even when I am not expressing everything quite the way I mean. I feel very blessed knowing that there is an army out there who cares not only for me, but for the injustices that are happening all over the world. It can get overwhelming, can’t it?

I guess if I know nothing else right now, I know that God is with us all, in everything.

Love you all, and sorry for such a sad update. I’m sure a happy one will be coming soon!

-j

Prayer & Praise Reports:

PRAISE:

  • No one was killed in the fire
  • AIM is moving forward in getting more girls who were trafficked to China repatriated to Cambodia
  • Continued protection in health and safety
  • For the community that I have been given

PRAYER

  • Pray for the street kids, their protection, and fragile hearts.
  • For the Charleston community, families who lost loved ones, and Dylann Roof
  • Pray for the rebuilding of Svay Pak
  • For the Cambodian government, that there is accountability for the corruption.
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June 2015 Newsletter

To reach me please email:
janay.jarvis@gmail.com

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Taking The Stage

gorgeous_stage_background_04_hd_picture_169913

I do not know the ending

A distant memory, the start

The plot, it thins then thickens

Rewriting each scene’s part

Today I am a hero

Then the maiden in distress

Tuesday’s word might be a “no”

Which might bring Wednesday’s “yes”

This is life, so unrehearsed

The ever-changing story

Tragic in its rawest form

Brilliant in its glory

Every day the curtain rises

Revealing joy or strife

And there I stand, no script in hand

My unrehearse-ed life.

The Playwright is a genius

He takes the cast and crew

Weaves them through this saga

Old characters and new

Comedy and tragedy

Grab hands to take a bow

Once enemies upon this stage

They stand in friendship now

This is life, so unrehearsed

The ever-changing story

Tragic in its rawest form

Brilliant in its glory

Each day the curtain rises

Revealing joy or strife

And there I stand, no script in hand

My unrehearse-ed life.

Sometimes I am the dancer

Music in my head

Next scene I am the wallflower

Wilting, almost dead

But all these parts and all these scenes

Were written just for me

The beautiful, the ugly

The grief and ecstasy

This is life, so unrehearsed

The ever-changing story

Tragic in its rawest form

Brilliant in its glory

Each day the curtain rises

Revealing joy or strife

And there I stand, no script in hand

My unrehearse-ed life.

I do not know my next line

Or when the curtains close

But I will run to this day’s stage

I know the One who knows….

Jeremiah 29:11 –  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Psalm 139:13-16 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

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